“That’s the new Aston Martin, dad,” I hear a child’s voice say as I walk out of a French service station on the A28.

Not long after that, on the road, a McLaren 570S pulls up alongside me. The passenger lowers her window and snaps a shot on her smartphone before the driver zips off. Then an Audi S5 comes up behind me, urgently flashing his lights in my rear view mirror. I’m surprised when the driver goes past giving me a ferocious thumbs-up and a smile.

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That, in the space of 15 minutes, is a microcosm of what it is like to drive an Aston Martin DB11 down to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Clearly, it’s intoxicatingly indulgent, and unlikely to happen under my own financial steam, but it also highlights the sense of belonging that everybody who goes to Le Mans feels.

Whether you're a supercar owner, a long-time fan, a team member or a first-timer, everyone is going to the same place for one reason: to appreciate rapid cars in a seriously fast place. That mutual shared respect temporarily suppresses circumstantial differences, and the camaraderie is extensive.

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